Prohibit all medical treatment for gender reassignment below the age of 18
With increasing reports of people seeking reversal of gender reassignment surgery (see recent report in The Independent, http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gender-reversal-surgery-demand-r... ; see also The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/sep/25/bath-spa-university-tr...), we call for medical intervention to change gender, whether surgical or by the administration of sex changing hormones, to be banned below the age of 18.
Increasingly in schools, children as young as four are being taught that gender is a matter of choice and not biology. The inevitable result is that increasing numbers of children are seeing themselves as having been born in ‘the wrong body’ and are demanding treatment. Many subsequently regret it, as seen in the recent case of a boy who embarked on gender reassignment and, as consequence, developed breasts, but who then decided he wanted to grow up as a man. Although still in possession of his penis, he had pronounced female characteristics, which could only be corrected by surgery (http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/12-year-old-boy-trans-female-cha...).
While some children may genuinely suffer from gender dysphoria – defined as strong and persistent feelings of identification with the opposite gender and discomfort with their birth sex - it is medically well documented that expression of such feelings are frequently both normal and transient, and without intervention naturally dissipate over time. Where more persistent, they are more often expression, rather than cause, of an underlying and primary problem, which may well be exacerbated by invasive gender reassignment treatment.
As a society we seek to protect children and young people from harm. We attempt to protect them from the consequences of decisions they are too young to make for themselves. For example, young children are not allowed to cross the road on their own; children cannot legally consent to sex below the age of 16; the sale of alcohol is banned to children under the age of 18; children under the age of 16 are not allowed to work full time, etc.
Yet, by teaching children that gender is a matter of choice and not sex, we allow and even encourage them to make life-changing decisions that they may in time bitterly regret.
If a young person cannot legally buy a glass of beer below the age of 18, how is it we encourage them to make life changing decisions involving the surgical mutilation of an otherwise healthy body, lifelong infertility, and with a life time spent on sex change hormones carrying well documented health risks and shortening life expectancy?
This cannot be right. While a child is free to choose to adopt the style of dress and manners of the opposite gender, for their future wellbeing, we call on Government to make illegal the offer of irreversible and life changing medical treatments for all children under the age of 18.
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Petition to: The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP - Secretary of State for Health and Social Care